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Dr David Williams 


Dr. David Williams
Position:Reader in Oral Microbiology

Telephone:+44 (0)29 2074 2548
Extension:42548

Research Theme

Tissue Engineering & Reparative Dentistry

Research Group

Microbial Effects on Tissue Function, and Tissue Repair and Remodelling

Research Interests

My research interests primarily focus in the field of Oral Microbiology and microbial biofilms.  Previous research was directed towards elucidating the role of Candida in chronic hyperplastic candidosis (CHC), which led to the development of novel genotypic methods for identifying Candida species in fixed tissues.  The significance of this work was recognised through receipt of both the Colgate Prize and the IADR/Unilever Hatton Competition. 

Additional Candida research has included the study of antifungal susceptibility of Candida species, secreted aspartyl proteinase production and real-time PCR detection of Candida in oral samples.  I have also investigated the adhesion of Candida and anaerobic bacteria to oral surfaces as well as materials used in medical devices (e.g. silicone rubber, acrylic, titanium).  The invasive properties of Candida based on in vitro tissue models, has successfully revealed strain and species variation which could have significance in disease progression.  Research in this area has recently benefitted through collaboration with colleagues at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.  Recently, I have also been involved in studies aimed at elucidating the innate immune response to Candida through cytokine signalling and subsequent T-cell differentiation. 

Additional biofilm research projects have included the study of biofilms within endotracheal tubes and their role in causing ventilator-associated pneumonia, a leading cause of mortality in intensive care units.  This work was initiated and continues to develop through close collaboration with Professor J Thomas (University of West Virginia, USA). 

Urinary tract catheter biofilms continue to be a leading cause of healthcare associated infection and with industrial collaboration together with colleagues at the Bristol Urological Institute we are in the process of developing medical devices to aid in the management of these infections. 

Chronic wounds are defined as those wounds that do not heal within an expected time-frame and represent a significant cause of patient morbidity and increased healthcare costs.  One potential factor involved in delayed wound healing is the presence of microbial biofilms within the wound which are often recalcitrant to antibiotic therapy.  Our research has not only characterised these biofilms through culture and molecular analysis but also focussed on mechanisms to rapidly detect pathogenic bacterial biofilms within the tissue. 

 

Selected Projects

  • Improving chronic wound management with intelligent dressings
  • Virulence aspects of clinical Candida species adhered to indwelling devices and human epithelium
  • Candida and host interactions associated with colonisation and infection
  • Role of oral microflora in the development of endotracheal tube biofilms and ventilator-associated pneumonia.